I am a woman whose heart yearns for realness. Realness for myself, but also realness for women around me, for I know with realness comes freedom! I long for greater confidence in Christ and hope to inspire those I come into contact with to feel the same. This is a blog about my journey to transform into something more beautiful, something more real, like a butterfly. These are ponderings from a willing heart.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I will be still

     This summer has been quite a whirlwind!  I feel like I have run 100 miles and hour since the weather began to warm.  I really like it that way if I'm being honest, I like busy, I like scheduled events, I like to have something to do. (Maybe that's life with a 4 year old and 2 year old, busy is sometimes better...)  But over the course of the past week or so I could feel the busyness really beginning to bear down on me.  I wanted to check out, sleeping more often, feeling more anxious and irritable.  After a few days of this I could see that my body was responding to what my heart really needed.  To slow down.
     We are coming up on the one year anniversary of Levi's accident. If you don't know about that event check out last year's blog post.  But in short, my 18 month old baby was struck by a car, he is okay and fully recovered today.  Sorry to take the wind out of your sails so abruptly, I have yet to figure out a way to say that without it being super dramatic.  There are some events in life like that, dramatic.  This was one of them for our family.  God was so faithful to protect his little body and I am so thankful.  We saw Him in ways that we had never experienced His presence ever before.  We came home, life went on, more hard things happened... Then this month rolled around.  I knew it was coming.  July comes around every year.  So it shouldn't have surprised me when I rolled the calendar over and saw that the month was in fact July.  But I could feel my heart in my throat and my breathing shallow as I read the month, July.  It felt like a weight pressed down on my chest, I could feel it rising, panic, fear, anxiety.  Memories washing over me like a flood.  I pushed them down, cleared my throat, and began making lunch for my two hungry little blondes.  I slept more that day, napped when the kids napped, went to bed early.  The next day, more of the same.  Though I couldn't place my finger on it I felt more irritable, more on edge, I wanted to sleep.  When I woke I still felt exhausted.  I did this for three more days.  Constantly swallowing the lump in my throat, my stomach uneasy, restless sleep, unfocused.  Then yesterday as I'm standing in the choir loft of our church worshiping The Lord it started to become more clear.  I fought back memories that were flooding my mind, images, sounds, and emotions that I felt that horrible day in July.  And as they were coming on I felt defenseless, like waves rushing over me.  I went home immediately following the service and went to sleep.  When I woke I knew I needed to speak it out, to find help, to process the emotion I was unable to control or fully understand.
      ...Tell my husband, he needs to know what my heart is experiencing.  After doing that and seeing tears well up in his eyes I realize that he too may be experiencing these emotions and dealing with them in a different way.  We decide that talking to someone professionally will probably benefit me.
     ...Tell a close and trusted friend.  There is a lot of scripture that explains that we are to bear one another burdens.  To love one another the way Jesus loved.  This includes sharing in celebration and sorrow.  I have been so fortunate to have a group of Godly women in my life that are faithful to love me in every season.  I shared, asked for prayer, and knew that they would do just that.
     ...Seek out Godly counsel.  Someone qualified to deal with my emotional state that can help me wade through the experiences of the past year and the emotions that followed.
     And then make the next right choice, I knew I needed time with God, quiet, uninterrupted, alone.  So I asked God to wake me up this morning, no alarm was set, I asked Him to wake me in time to meet with Him before my family rose.  6:45 this morning my eyes opened and for the first time in days I felt energized enough to get out of bed without a fight.  I put on my pot of coffee.  Grabbed my Journal and Bible (and my favorite purple pen) and sat down on my couch, complete silence, sun rising over the trees, worship music in the background.  I was ready to do some work with God.  I just knew He was going to put me through the ringer, that He was going to remind me of my sinfulness and anxious heart.  And surely He was not pleased.  After all this time with Him you would think I would know that He is holy and just absolutely, but gentle, kind, loving, full of grace and mercy.  And as I began journaling, pouring my heart before Him, confessing my sinfulness, asking Him to meet me, a song began resounding in my heart.
Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power in quietness and trust 
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are King over the flood
 I will be still and know You are God
     And as I was singing those lyrics in my mind I began to feel my heart beat begin to slow down.  I had been very aware of how it had been racing and pounding for a few days.  I began to journal my thoughts, images of times that I felt safe, calm, and peace filled.  One specific memory came to me, I was a child, probably 4 or so, laying with my Mom in her bedroom "napping".  (I was never a good napper, sorry Mom I now know how sacred that time is!)  She was laying in front of me with her back to me, I was nuzzled against her. (Again, sorry Mom I now know how it feels to have a child plastered to you every. single. moment. of. the. day.)  But I was lying there, watching her back expand when she would breathe. I could feel her heart beat.  And I was lying there I tried matching my breathing to hers, feeling my heart beat and wanting it to be the same as hers.  And as I remember that moment, I remember feeling completely content, safe, and at peace.  I was with my Mom, the person I loved more than anyone on this planet, I was in her presence and she was resting so I could too.  And then I knew, that was God's desire for me too.  Just to be in His presence, lean against His chest, match my breathing to His, and know that I am safe, I can stop fighting the emotions, stop being afraid.  And that is what I have spent my morning doing, just being with God.  No agenda, just a little worship music, eyes closed, and rest. 
     I am not sure why I felt God prompting me to share this experience on the blog today.  Maybe it was to be completely vulnerable, real, and honest.  Maybe there is someone else that needed to be reminded that God just wants you, not the shiny, put together Sunday morning version... But the real, messy, human version.  And He just wants us to meet Him in His presence.  To rest in Him.  To be still and know that He is God.  
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord:
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, 
out of the miry bog,
 and He set my feet upon a rock,
making my step secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Surviving or Thriving



If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you will surely have noticed that this past year or so has been difficult to say the least.  We have experienced loss like I have not experienced in my entire life combined.  As I was beginning to feel like God was beating up on me, or that He was just too busy to notice, I had an encounter with Him that reminded me that His character is true and sufficient.  I had been hanging on by a thread.  Standing on the ledge.  Feeling like I looked just like this plant.  Withered, beaten, neglected, and barely surviving.  Then my sweet Lord came to me... He met me on a church pew with other sisters who looked just a tired and ragged as I was feeling. (Funny isn't it, that when we are feeling so neglected we forget that we are not alone?) He reminded me in His Word to "understand this, in the last days there will come times of difficulty." ( 2 Timothy 3:1) So what then?  When life beats you down, circumstances feel as though they will overtake you, and you feel as though you are barely hanging on? What do we do then?  That was the question I was coming to the Lord with on this particular day.  And God oh so sweetly reminded me that I have hope.  Hope that He can take any circumstance and make something so beautiful out of it.  Beauty that I couldn't begin to even imagine, much less create.  He can take a person, barely surviving, but willing to be poured into and cause them not just to "make it", but to thrive!  This truly is His desire for my life.  When the storms come, that I wouldn't just "hang in there" or  wait for the phrase "this too shall pass" to become true, but in the midst of the storm to THRIVE.  So, how do I do this... as I was reading a book given to me by a sweet friend, the author said something that really struck a cord in me.  She said "Yes, you can throw pieces at God in anger and say "I do not like the life You have given me, and I refuse to life within these limitations with a humble heart."... However, if you choose to bow your knee and submit to the varied circumstances of your life, God will do miracles... you must accept any limitations by faith, trust in His faithfulness each step of the way, and wait for His grace so you can live a faithful story right in the place you find yourself." (Sally Clarkson) So that is the secret to thriving in the midst of the storm.  Submission, faith, and trust in God.  That He has a greater plan then you can imagine in this moment.  That He is orchestrating all things, not just when things are good and the sun is shining, but on those nights when the storm rages outside the window and your heart feels shattered.  The only difference in the first picture of the wilting plants, and this one is the second picture has been watered, tended to by The Gardener. I'm sure this entailed some painful pruning, but the plant trusted and submitted to The Gardeners plan to create something beautiful! Something that is not merely surviving... but thriving! 
But there was also another picture that God revealed to me.  And this one was harder on my heart than the first two.  Take a look at this plant.  It looks beautiful, like it is flourishing and thriving in that beautiful stone pot.  But the reality is that this plant is neither surviving nor thriving, in fact it has never experienced either, it is artificial.  Fake.  A fraud.  It requires no pruning or watering, no tending, no painful grooming.  No attention from The Gardener.  It is safe from the painful process that The Gardener has in mind for the living plants.  It is plastic.  And as I was thinking about all of the seasons of my life that I have been "plastic", unliving, fake, and safe, it came to me just how much bravery it takes to be real.  To be vulnerable to the process and plan that The Gardener has for our lives.  It is much easier to be fake.  It is much easier to be safe from the storms, in fact they don't matter when you are fake, nothing can hurt you.  But you will never experience the fullness and joy of being cared for and protected by The Gardener.  Being real is worth the pain.  It's worth the vulnerability when you have The Gardener tending to your heart.  
God, please continue to prune me, to tend to my heart, to water my soul with Your Word, the Living Water.  Help me to be vulnerable enough to be real and not artificial, even if I do look like the plant that is barely surviving.  Thank You for Your kindness, mercy, patience, and tenderness.  I submit my life to You.  In Jesus sweet, precious name I pray. Amen

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beauty from brokenness

     This has proven to be one of the hardest, longest, most painful weeks of my life.  The kind of week that seems to last for years and years.  We announced on Sunday afternoon that we were expecting a baby this Fall.  We were so excited to be adding to our little clan and couldn't wait to begin celebrating with those in our lives!  After two fairly uneventful pregnancies, this one seemed to be following suit.  I woke up Monday morning, it was a beautiful day, and decided to meet some friends at the park.  I felt really energized and was thrilled to be outside in the sunshine.  That night around 9:00 I began experiencing cramping and soon recognized that these symptoms were not normal and started worrying about the baby.  Monday night was the longest night I've had in a long time, between cramping and the nausea I was fighting back anxiety by praying over the baby and myself, and waking Travis up to pray over me.  The morning light came and we decided it was time to go to the hospital.  They took blood and did and ultrasound within moments I overheard a nurse in the hall saying "there was no measurable heartbeat" and I knew that they were talking about me.  About my baby.  My sweet little one that we already loved so dearly.  When the doctor came in I could tell immediately that she had already been crying, and this sweet lady delivered the most heartbreaking news, we had lost our baby.  There was no heartbeat. Our sweet little one had gone on to be with Jesus.  And that I was going to begin the process of miscarrying at any moment.  We cried, prayed, held each other, and silently I got dressed.  As we walked to the car, our whole world crashing down around us, God began working in my heart, in my spirit.  The best way to summarize this experience and where we are today is to allow you a glimpse into the heart and thoughts of my time with The Lord.  I hope that this is hope giving and uplifting to anyone who reads it...
God, Father, Healer, how I need You today.  My empty womb, aching with loneliness, fear, pain and yet also peace needs You. God, only You can make beauty from shattered pieces of broken hearts. Only You can create something lovely from the brutality of losing a life.  This little one, never known, never seen, but held safely all the days of its life, this short vapor of an existence was held close to my heart every second of its own heart beating.  God, You see all of this child, every single detail of its DNA, every nuance of its personality, every outward expression of the union of its Mommy and Daddy.  And this child, thought never known this side of eternity, will be loved all the days of our lives, will be carried in our hearts as long as we walk this earth, and one glorious day our eyes and hearts will behold the tiny face of our Lost One.  Because Lord we know that what seems lost to us, has never for one second been lost to You.  You held, and still hold, this precious baby in Your hands and now in Your presence.  So until the day of reuniting, we rest in the peace that comes only from knowing You.  A peace that surpasses all understanding.  One day we will see this face, this life, and even more gloriously, Your own face.  Thank You for each moment we had, we will know Your love, grace, and mercy more fully because we experienced this journey of love and loss.  In Jesus do we put our hope and our trust. 

Isaiah 66:9
"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dreaming!

     Have you ever been filled with so many emotions that it feels as though you might bust open at the seams?  Well, that is where I am right now....   There are so many different emotions swirling around in my heart that I feel like I might explode.  I am also uncertain as to what I am feeling moment to moment.  There are so many wonderful things going on in my life right now!  So many avenues and doors God has opened for me to explore!  There is also a lot of hard going on too.  A lot of unanswered questions, unknown next steps, undone current circumstances that I feel as though might swallow me whole.  However, in the midst of the craziness going on around me, there is one thing that I can say for certain that is happening:  God is opening up my heart and mind to dream again!
     Do you remember as a kid when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up how your mind would race with possibilities; maybe a doctor, a teacher, an astronaut, a singer, a professional basketball player, or a dancer... so many options!  I'm pretty sure I changed my answer every single time someone asked me that question.  Until one day, after many failed attempts at growing 3 feet so I could be a pro basketball player, or I realized that I do not like being in a confined space for long periods of time, those choices began to be narrowed down.  I realized that not all of the options were logical for me.  I realized that I had to be a little more realistic.  I began to think more rationally. That is where the paradigm shift began.  And throughout the years, life circumstances, and failed attempts at a lot of different things, somewhere in the midst of it all, I stopped dreaming.
     I didn't even realize I had done it.  I didn't do it intentionally, but among the college stress, career changes, babies being born, marital hardship, and financial burden, I stopped dreaming.  I started living life in the moment, in reality, afraid to have any hopes or dreams for fear of leaving them unrealized.  It was simply easier on my heart to not dream than to deal with disappointment.  I am very blessed in the life I have!  I have a wonderful, God-loving, hard working, super hot husband, 2 beautiful, healthy, energetic, and full of life children, wonderful family, amazing support system, and above all those things, I am redeemed!  I have a love relationship with Jesus! And somehow, somewhere, I decided that dreaming about something different was wrong or ungrateful, and I never want to be ungrateful!  But in these past few months God has revealed something to my heart.  It's okay to have dreams and ambitions beyond your current circumstances!  It's okay to look into the future and hope for something.
     So what does this mean?  What does this look like when paired together?  I'm not completely certain yet, but so far this is where I have gotten... God loves me, He knows me, He knows my heart, my potential, my dreams, even better than I know them myself!  And guess what?  He wants them for me too!  He placed those dreams in there when he knit me in my mother's womb!  And when I seek Jesus first, when I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength,  then my dreams align with His desires for my life!  I am not destined to sit in my comfortable home, with my brightly painted walls, and my ordinary life.  I am not simply a pew sitter or a choir member.  There are big things that God has for me in my life!  Now, He may choose to use those avenues, He may leave me in my comfortable warm house with yellow walls and my wonderful church with all of my people, but He is not leaving me here because there is no room to dream, it's because this is where my dreams can be realized!  So, in the center of this ordinary, mundane, life I can see the opportunity, I can dream!  And when I come to God and ask Him to use me for more and give me dreams that can be realized for His glory, I can almost hear Him shouting "YES!!! Finally!  I have been hoping you would ask me for that!"
    So what do I dream?  The answer is a resounding, I have no idea!  But I am so excited to open my heart and mind to the possibilities and pray for God to give me dreams for His glory!  Those are the dreams that matter the most in the end anyway!  I pray that He will continue to reveal more of the unique qualities and desires He placed in my heart before anyone else knew me!  I pray for boldness and bravery to follow through with those dreams once I know what they are!  I pray for revelation even in the ordinary and mundane every day.  This is what it looks like to dream after years of living in complacency! Join me, let's dream together!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The end of a really hard year

     Well, it certainly has been quite a while since I last wrote.  Not for lack of words, but possibly for too many.  This year has been wonderful, beautiful, horrible, exhausting, promising, and so many other descriptions that I could add just thinking back over the past 363 days.  Through it all, through the financial burdens, the health issues, the friendships fostered, the relationships lost, there has been one consistent theme through it all... God is still so good.  I must confess a lack of faith in that throughout the months, but God has shown up to renew my strength and remind me of all of His faithFULness!  In the past month or so I have begun praying in quite a different manner than I ever have before.  Let me start at the beginning of the most recent journey I am on with God....
      It all started about a week before Thanksgiving.  We were struggling through some pretty serious financial decisions and really weren't sure what the next step to take was going to look like.  I began having a whole host of doubt plague my heart, "where is God?" "does He really want to bless ME?" "why do I feel so full of fear, I have seen God provide before?" and so many more.  I opened my Bible and began reading in Hebrews 11... I read how Moses had the faith to lead the people through the wilderness, to cross the Red Sea, how Abraham had the faith that God would make him a great nation, how Sarah trusted that God would give her a child in her old age, and so on and so on.  As I was reading this passage I was thinking "Okay God I get it, they had faith. If I'm being honest here, I don't, now what?"  And then I sat there, feeling helpless, frustrated, and embarrassed that the truth was what it was.  I didn't have faith.  I didn't trust God.  I couldn't muster it up, pretend it was there, fake it till I could make it... it just wasn't.  So I cried, I confessed my lack of faith, I asked God to fill me up with it because frankly I wasn't sure where else it could come from at this point.
     Then I picked up my Bible and started reading again, Hebrews 12:1-2
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" at this point, the Bible student in me perked up, see I have been taught that it you see the word "therefore", you should ask yourself "what is it there for?".  So I looked back up at what I just read, all about the heroes of my faith, all about their trust in God and how God showed up for them.  They are the "great cloud of witness".  I could feel my heart beating a little faster now... so I continued. "let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race which is set before us."  Now the former athlete in me was getting stirred up.  Run with endurance, where do you get endurance? Through practice! Through trials and failed attempts and more practice! At this point I feverishly turned to James 1 and read "Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (endurance)"  I was feeling the "Hallelujah" rising up in my heart! So I kept reading... "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and it seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  I laid back on my bed, closed my eyes, and pictured this scene. It was as though I was watching a movie.  Walk through it with me...
      I can feel the pavement beneath my feet, my heart pounding, my breath beginning to shorten.  My legs feel heavy and tired, but I am running.  I am putting one foot in front of the other, I am not fast, but I am running.  Then I begin to feel the wind in my face, a breeze blowing through my hair and reminding me that I am still in the race.  Then I realize I am carrying a huge backpack on my back, it is heavy, full of memories, fears, failures, hopes, dreams, and a dozen pairs of shoes I'm sure ;) and I remember "lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely" and I take it off.  It wasn't difficult really, I just slipped the straps off my shoulders and let the pack fall to the ground, and I leave it there. Now running feels a bit easier.  I feel lighter, and my steps a bit faster.  Then I hear it, cheers to my left and my right, and there they were!  My heroes of the faith, they have finished their race, they ran with endurance and they are cheering me on!  Screaming like maniacs, encouraging me to keep running, to set my eyes on the race in front of me, not the heavy burden I left behind.  And now I can hear Him, Jesus, seated at the end of the race, on His throne, He is cheering louder than all of the others!  He is my biggest fan, my loudest voice, He finished His race "for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross". And now He is resting on His throne, encouraging me to keep running.  
     I opened my eyes with tears running down my face.  I am not alone, it is not based on my faith alone.  I can stand on the shoulders of my heroes, those men and women that have gone before.  Some of them in the Bible, some of them I had the privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with in this life.  All of them cheering loudly saying "keep running, it's oh so worth it!"  And so I do, even through this hard year.  Some people have asked me how I do it?  How I keep going after this difficult season?  And this is the secret, I have a great cloud of witnesses and my Jesus cheering me on... My prayer for this next year is this verse, that I will run with endurance, run freely and unhindered, toward the things that God has set before me.  That I will hear those voices and know that I can trust the God that is the same today as He was in ages past when those great heroes ran their races.  I will press on, I will endure! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

When the dust settles

     After all of the excitement we had in the month of July, as far as I'm concerned, it can just take a hike and be wiped off our calender!   I'm ready for August, I need a fresh start.  But God has been so faithful to teach me so many wonderful things through the trials we experienced in July.  He never lets anything, any experience, go wasted when we surrender our hearts and our lives to His will.  I'm going to attempt to share, in a somewhat coherent manner, a few of the things I feel like He has been teaching me. Bear with me if I get a little hard to follow.
     First of all, I have learned a couple of things about myself.  I have learned I am great in crisis.  I mean really, in the moment of tragedy, you will want me at your side.  I get this strange calm that takes over.  Everything is super clear, I know that was God, I know He was upholding me.  He gives us strength in our weakest moments.  On the flip side of that coin, when the calm comes after the storm, when I get still and process, I struggle with tremendous amounts of anxiety after-the-fact.  So that's where I am today, the dust is settling, Levi is healing wonderfully, and life is returning to "normal".  So now is when I begin my struggle with anxiety, I am working really hard on surrendering this to God at this time, He says "cast all your cares upon Me, My yoke is easy and my burden is light".
     So that's what brings me to these past couple of days, a heart struggling with anxiousness, and a knowledge that I have a God who cares about that.  A sweet friend of mine, she was once my "watch care momma" (basically an adoptive mom through the church I attended while I was in college), she has been involved in my life for eight years now and I am so grateful for her wisdom and willingness to share her heart with me and my family... she brought me a book a couple of weeks ago called "Rules for the Red Sea".  It has been a tool that God has used over and over again to remind me of some truths that I have known but that are so easy to forget in the time of crisis.  If you are in a trial or know someone who is, this little book is worth the investment.  So I began reading about a week ago and the story of the Israelites had some great parallels in my life now.  I opened up my Bible and decided I wanted to see what God's Word had to say about these circumstances and a couple of things became very clear to me.
     First, that God is in control of ALL things.  It says in Exodus 13: 17-18 that God led the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness instead of going into the land of the Philistines (which would have been a more direct route).  His reason?  "Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt."  God took them on a more lengthy journey because He knew what their hearts could and could not handle. He was protecting them, even though they may never have known from what.  Sometimes I feel like I know a shorter way through the journey, a way that would get me there faster, but God doesn't allow me to travel that path, I may never know why or what He was protecting me from.  But I can be assured that this is what is best for me and my family.
    Second, that God will get His glory, because He alone is worthy.  And that is the whole point of us being on this earth, to bring Him glory, so the whole earth will know Him.  In Exodus 14: 1-20 the Bible tells us the story of how the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea.  It says God told Moses to lead the people of Israel into a "rock and a hard place" type scenario, "the wilderness has shut them in" and their backs were to the sea.  Then God said "I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord."  So the scene is set, the Israelites in a hopeless scenario and for what? For God to get His glory in the land of the Egyptians.  When I read that statement it struck my heart and it was like there was a light that turned on in the darkness.  This is it, this is the whole reason that "bad things happen to good people".  God's glory and His worship is the end game.  It is the way that the world can see Him most clearly, when God is glorified and lifted up.
     The story continues... The Egyptians are pressing in and the Israelites are terrified (and rightfully so) and they cry out to the Lord. And what is God's response?  "Fear not, stand firm,and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.  The Lord will fight for you, and you have only need to be still." (vv. 13 &14)
     So that is what I am doing, I am actively being still and allowing God to fight for me.  When the walls are closing in and the enemy is drawing near.  When the sea is at our backs and there is no apparent escape.  God says, "watch and see".  It isn't a passive lack of care or laziness, it is an active choice to stand still.  Stand still and listen for God's next command, we never know when that sea will part and He will say "follow me into a miracle".



Friday, July 25, 2014

The miraculous and the mundane

     Have you ever experienced a time in your life that you literally feel like you are dangling by a thread?  Like at any moment that thread might break?  Well, I'm there.  After the week we had last week with Levi's accident and being in the hospital I anticipated that this week might be difficult.  But I was thinking the hard part would be the transitioning of Levi and his injuries.  That part has been far better than I could have hoped, he is healing wonderfully.  He is a strong little man and God is healing his body quite quickly!  For that we are so grateful and thankful!  And because of that fact I feel horrible for worrying about anything else! 
      I feel so ungrateful for what I'm about to say, we experienced a miracle when God protected Levi, we experienced a miracle when his little body began to heal so quickly, but now we need another one.  And I feel like I am being so selfish and spoiled to even ask for another... it's not like I feel like I need to earn God's favor, not that because I am good He will show up... that's not it at all, but more along the lines of He was so faithful to care for Levi, in that HUGE trauma and circumstance, that I feel like asking for Him to show up in this situation is petty and pathetic.  So I was honest with God, I journaled and confessed my unbelief and lack of faith.  I confessed and asked for God to continue revealing His character to me so that I could trust Him more.  I feel so silly even typing those words.  I mean I JUST saw God show up in a beautiful way a little over a week ago.  You would think I would have the faith that could move mountains.  So why do I question His providence in this situation?  How could I doubt His character now?  
     My flesh is so weak, I am such a human.  I have such a short memory, and I am reminded of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  God parted the Red Sea to save them from their enemies, how much more miraculous could that be?  And not one chapter later His people had forgotten.  They were complaining and fearful for how He would provide for their daily needs, as if He would save them from Egyptian armies and leave them in the wilderness to die.  So I keep reminding myself that God is still the same God that He was in the hospital, in the middle of my worst moments.  He is still the God who cares, the God who sustains, the God who provides, JEHOVAH-JIRAH, the God who sees.  So I guess the point of this whole post is this, God doesn't just show up in the obviously miraculous, He will also show up in the everyday and the mundane.  And we don't have to wonder if our problems are big enough for Him to care about because it says in Matthew that he cares for the flowers and the birds, and how much more does He love us!  He is faithful, ALWAYS, He is not like us.  He is totally other, He is consistent, we can trust in Him.  The two pictures I posted below are from this past week, the first one from the hospital with Levi, in the moment that I was so sure of God's faithfulness.  And the bottom is one from this week, after choir practice, God's reminder that He is with me in the storm and the calm.  Great is Thy faithfulness! 
God, give me faith, more faith!  I confess my tendency to humanize You.  I know that You are wholly other.  I confess my fear that You may not show up.  Forgive me for forgetting how You have already shown up for us in so many miraculous ways.  I will lead my heart and my mind in Your ways and follow You and trust You!  You are worthy, You alone.  Help me not forget!